Australia: Planning & Environment News – 7 June 2017

In the media – National

Power trading between neighbours trialled in new pilot
A new trial supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and using blockchain technology could enable households and business to trade or share power with one-another. AGL Energy Limited (AGL) is leading the project to evaluate a virtual trial at Melbourne homes with a mix of solar panels, batteries to store electricity, and 'smart' air conditioning (26 May 2017). More...

States need to put energy consumers first
Today the Federal Court handed down a major decision that will increase electricity prices for New South Wales customers by around $3 billion. This reaffirms the Turnbull Government's position of wanting to abolish the Limited Merits Review (LMR) process to stop network businesses gaming the system (24 May 2017). More...

ARENA and AEMO join forces to pilot demand response to manage extreme peaks this summer
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) today jointly announced plans to pilot a demand response initiative this summer to manage electricity supply during extreme peaks (19 May 2017). More...

ARENA partners with new cleantech marketplace
An innovative new Australian-based online marketplace that connects renewable energy projects and investors has partnered with ARENA as it seeks to accelerate the global development and deployment of clean technology (18 May 2017). More...

New Guidance on Sustainable Procurement: ISO 20400
Making sustainable choices as a business isn't just about maintaining corporate social responsibility. These choices can and should act to boost profits, strengthen business partnerships and build trust with consumers. The new standard on sustainable procurement, ISO 20400, that will stand testament to this (26 May 2017). More...

Grim warning for Great Barrier Reef if Paris Agreement not kept
The odds of the Great Barrier Reef suffering another catastrophic mass bleaching event are three times higher if we don't act on the Paris Agreement and global temperatures rise to 2°C, according to scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne (18 May 2017). More...

New partnership aims to drive more efficient, comfortable buildings
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) the Passive House Institute (PHI), and the Australian Passive House Association (APHA) have agreed to work together to promote ultra-low energy buildings (22 May 2017). More...

Adaptation partnership building on success of CoastAdapt
The Turnbull Government welcomes the final release of CoastAdapt, a popular online tool developed by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) to help local governments and other organisations understand and manage coastal risks. CoastAdapt is available via https://coastadapt.com.au/ (17 May 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

City of Melbourne: Statement on horse drawn vehicles
The City of Melbourne will no longer provide permits for horse drawn vehicles to park or offer rides on Swanston Street due to safety risks associated with their operations and the impact of the construction of the Metro Tunnel and the CBD South station (23 May 2017). More...

Victoria must lock in location for second port
The Property Council welcomed reports that Infrastructure Victoria has advised the Victorian Government that the location for the future second container port should be in western Victoria ("Bay West"). The Property Council looks forward to the Government releasing the advice (18 May 2017). More...

Listening to Locals on Wandong Interchange
Following extensive consultation with the communities of Wandong and Heathcote Junction, the Andrews Labor Government confirms that Stage 2 of the proposed Kilmore Wallan Bypass will not proceed (22 May 2017). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Potential for homes and jobs in Liverpool
An empty lot in one of Sydney's south-west growth areas now has the potential for hundreds of homes and retail shops following approval from the Department of Planning and Environment to change planning controls at the site (24 May 2017). More...

Rural living by the sea made possible at Bonville
Nearly 350 homes near the sea could be built at Bonville, near Coffs Harbour, following the finalisation of a planning proposal by the Department of Planning and Environment (22 May 2017). More...

$50 million in funding for mining towns
Mining communities can apply for a share of funding from the Resources for Regions program (19 May 2017). More...

Waterloo nominated as next state significant precinct
Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said the new Waterloo station would be the catalyst for the progressive renewal of the Estate (19 May 2017). More...

Plans to boost housing and jobs in Sydney's North West
A blueprint for Sydney's North West will deliver 20,000 more homes than originally envisaged ten years ago (16 May 2017). More...

In the media – Queensland

Development Approval for Orion Towers will define Gold Coast Skyline
The 103-storey Orion Tower project in Surfers Paradise has received conditional development approval from the City Planning Committee. CRA Group Development Manager Chris Alston said the approval secured the next stages of planning, and the project is set to become a major investment in the city post-Commonwealth Games (25 May 2017). More...

NQ Stadium kicks another goal
The $250 million North Queensland Stadium will hit another milestone next week with a development application going to Townsville City Council (25 May 2017). More...

Financial assurance for Adani's mine rehabilitation 'at least $1.5bn'
Adani will have to provide financial assurance of more than $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the Carmichael mine proposed for central Queensland, according to a new report prepared by the Lock the Gate Alliance (24 May 2017). More...

Solar now Queensland's largest power station
Queensland has officially become the Solar State with new figures confirming that combined solar rooftops are now Queensland's largest power station - surpassing the 1,680 megawatt Gladstone Power Station (24 May 2017). More...

New umpire will sort resources disputes
Landholders and resources companies will have an independent umpire to help resolve disputes over their negotiated agreements under legislation introduced into State Parliament (23 May 2017). More...

Conservationists accuse farmers of bulldozing one million hectares of trees
Conservation groups claim more than one million hectares of trees have been bulldozed in Queensland in four years, angering farmers who say they are acting lawfully (22 May 2017). More...

Better mine rehabilitation for Queensland
The Palaszczuk Government is making sure large mines across the state are properly rehabilitated, protecting the environment and creating more jobs in the resource services industry (22 May 2017). More...

Expressions of interest called for solar trials
The Palaszczuk Government has called for expressions of interest from solar PV suppliers to support a trial of rooftop solar on public housing, bringing cheaper electricity bills a step closer for government owned housing tenants in Rockhampton and Cairns (22 May 2017).
Expressions of interest called for Rockhampton solar trial
Expressions of interest called for Cairns solar trial

New Draft Policy moves to weave Indigenous Culture into Queensland Planning
Indigenous tradition, culture and heritage will become an integral part of planning in Queensland under a draft policy released by the Queensland Division of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). Queensland's new Planning Act requires the consideration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's knowledge, culture and tradition as an integral part of planning outcomes, (16 May 2017). More...

Indigenous planning policy an Australian first
Indigenous tradition, culture and heritage will become an integral part of planning in Queensland under a draft policy released by the Queensland Division of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) (16 May 2017). More...

In practice and courts – Commonwealth

Australian Local Government Association: Review of climate change policies discussion paper
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) appreciates the opportunity to present this submission in response to the Review of climate change policies discussion paper (May 2017). More...

NELA National Conference: Addressing Past Harm, Managing Future Risks, Brisbane 4 August 2017
This year's conference brings together a range of experts to discuss the state of Australia's environment, how various States are addressing past impacts, and innovative mechanisms being explored to avoid future harm. Examining mining rehabilitation, groundwater management, climate risk disclosure, sustainable business practices and much more. More...

In practice and courts – Victoria

VCAT RED DOT Decision
Ronge v Moreland CC (Red Dot) [2017] VCAT 550 (9 May 2017): Medium density development on redundant industrial site.

Queen Victoria Markets - Call for Comments
The Australian Heritage Council is assessing the Queen Victoria Markets for potential inclusion on the National Heritage List. Comments close 14 July 2017. More...

In practice and courts – New South Wales

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017

Community Consultations
Proposed changes to planning rules for outdoor advertising and signage to increase road and rail safety (SEPP). Start date 05/05/2017; End date 06/06/2017

Draft Vegetation SEPP Start date 10/05/2017 End date 21/06/2017

In practice and courts – Queensland

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017

Bulimba Barracks Master Plan adopted
The Brisbane City Plan has been amended to incorporate changes to the Bulimba Neighbourhood Plan brought on by the adoption of the Bulimba Barracks Master Plan. The Master Plan, developed by Brisbane City Council through community consultation, provides for new urban development within the former Defence-owned site. The amendment took effect on 19 May 2017.

North Queensland Regional Plan
Get involved with the first ever North Queensland Regional Plan and help the Queensland Government plan our region's future, with the first round of conversations with the communities in the Burdekin, Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island and Townsville from 21 May 2017 to 9 July 2017. More...

Proposed Kidston Solar Farm
The Regulator sought feedback from interested persons with regards to issuing Genex Solar Pty Ltd (the operator of the proposed generator) a generation authority for the Genex Kidston Solar Farm. Further details are available in the Application for electricity generation authority: Genex (Solar) Pty Ltd for the Kidston solar farm: information paper. Submissions closed on 26 May 2017.

Proposed Clare Solar Farm
The Regulator sought feedback from interested persons with regards to issuing Clare Asset Co Pty Limited (the operator of the proposed generator) a generation authority for the Clare Solar Farm. Further details are available in the Application for electricity generation authority: Clare Asset Co Pty Ltd information paper. Submissions closed 26 May 2017.

SPP Interactive Mapping System update
The State Planning Policy Interactive Mapping System has been amended to reflect changes to the Queensland Heritage Place dataset. Changes to the Heritage Place list, consist of: addition of two new heritage places; reduction in the heritage place boundary of the St George's Anglican Church at Beenleigh and amendments to the lot boundaries of a number of existing heritage places based on improved mapping technology and aerial photography (03 May 2017). The State Planning Policy Interactive Mapping System updates are applicable to the SPP Plan Making Mapping and State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) Development Assessment (DA) mapping systems.

EHP Prosecution Bulletin No. 3, May 2017
A gold mining company pleaded guilty to two offences under sections 361 and 430 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (the Act) respectively for contravening an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) and contravening a condition of an Environmental Authority (EA). More...

City Plan amendment package
Brisbane City Council has released a varied package of amendments to the Brisbane City Plan for public consultation. The amendments package includes:
The addition of 147 properties to the City Plan's pre-1911 building overlay; A refinement of biodiversity mapping to reflect changes in vegetation and to align with State Government koala mapping and the latest reiteration of the Spring Hill Neighbourhood Plan and a draft Newstead North neighbourhood plan. Submissions on the proposals closed 2 June 2017.

Spring Hill Neighbourhood Plan
Brisbane City Council has reopened consultation on its Spring Hill Neighbourhood Plan, following the State Government's State Interest review. The Queensland Government deemed that changes made to the final version of the plan were significantly different from the previous consultation version and warranted a repeat of the public consultation process. Submissions closed 2 June 2017.

The Mill at Moreton Bay Priority Development Area: Proposed Development Scheme
Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) gives notice that the proposed development scheme for The Mill at Moreton Bay Priority Development Area (PDA). The proposed development scheme is the draft planning document for the PDA which sets out the land uses, development criteria and infrastructure envisaged for the PDA. Submissions closed on 30 May 2017. More...

Cases – Queensland

Telstra Corporation Limited v Brisbane City Council [2017] QPEC 032
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING – Whether changes to a development application are a minor change – Whether changes to a development application result in a substantially different development.

Gold Coast City Council v Bush [2017] QPEC 029
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – ENFORCEMENT – whether construction of structures assessable development – parties – discretion to make orders.

Wust v Moreton Bay Regional Council [2017] QPEC 027
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – CONDITIONS APPEAL – proposed multiple dwelling development at Morayfield – disputed conditions concerning orientation of two of the units comprising the development, and whether provision of pedestrian connection to second street frontage required – whether conditions required in order to prevent conflict with the relevant planning schemes – whether the conditions are relevant and reasonably required.

Althaus Enterprises Pty Ltd v Ipswich City Council [2017] QPEC 028
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – appeal against a refusal for a development permit for a material change of use for 18 townhouses – development application modified to 16 townhouses.
CONFLICT – conflict with planning scheme – whether proposed development conflicts with Ipswich Planning Scheme 2006 and the residential low density zone – whether inconsistent with the existing and desired character of the area – whether the proposed development represents over-development of the site.
PLANNING NEED – supply of available land for multiple dwellings.
GROUNDS – whether there are sufficient grounds to justify an approval of the proposed development despite conflicts.

Bowman v Brisbane City Council [2017] QCA 084
Application under s498 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 for leave to appeal an order refusing an application to vary an enforcement order – rehabilitation plan – costs.

Cherwell Creek Coal Pty Ltd Re, ex parte Chief Executive, Department of Natural Resources and Mines (No. 3) [2017] QLC 22
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN THE STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – non-party disclosure – where Land Court has already made a decision on costs to a certain extent, but allowed the non-party its costs of production of documents – where there is dispute between the parties as to what costs of production are properly claimable.
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN THE STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – non-party disclosure – assessment of quantum of costs of production of documents.

Legislation – Queensland

Bills Updated

Land Access Ombudsman Bill 2017
Introduced on 23/05/2017, Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 23/05/2017.

Local Government Electoral (Transparency and Accountability in Local Government) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
Introduced on 1/12/2016, Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 10/05/2017.
Assent Date: 19/05/2017. Act No: 12 of 2017, Commences: see Act for details.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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Authors
Gerard Timbs
 
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